Developers investing in Greensboro strip malls

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Several different developers have recently taken on the challenge of turning struggling strip malls in the Triad into destinations in the community.

One of those projects is the Golden Gate Shopping Center on Golden Gate Drive. A developer bought the property in March and since has invested millions of dollars in renovations.

Essa Commercial Real Estate took over as leasing agent in April. Already, Golden Gate Shopping Center has gone from 60 to 98 percent full. The new owners plan to change the shopping center’s name to the Village at Golden Gate.

“We want it to be a neighborhood center, where you can bump into your neighbor at the grocery store or going out to eat. We want to really make it a community,” said Callie Wendt, with Essa Commercial Real Estate.

The shopping center will soon have four restaurants with outdoor seating. However, initial plans to bring an adventure park to the area have been placed on hold.

“Right now that project is on hold," Wendt said. "We're not ruling it out for the future. But right now, we've been focusing on supporting local business. Every tenant we've put in has been a local owned business.”

Other strip malls in Greensboro are also under construction. Developers are building a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market at Greensboro’s Quaker Village on West Friendly Ave.

The City of Greensboro is also teaming up with a developer to transform the abandoned East Bessemer Shopping Center into a new Renaissance Center with a co-op grocery store. Construction is expected to begin in the next couple months.